Trachinotus Carolinus



Onshore, Nearshore

4 - 8 pounds

12" - 25"

Florida Pompano 

Also Known As: Carolina Pompano, Cobblerfish, Common Pompano, Pompano  

Guides Who Fish This Species

Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Description

The Florida Pompano is one of the most prized fish in Florida. In appearance, Florida Pompanos are compressed in structure. They are flat on both sides and appear tall and thin. The Florida Pompano has a short snout and it has a silvery, white-blue body with yellow fins. Its tail fin is deeply forked and all its fins are yellow in color. The Florida Pompano also has a short dorsal fin, being separated by six spines.

A Florida Pompano has around 20-24 anal rays. They have a yellowish underbelly but a dark green-gray hue on their dorsal side.


Diet and Size

A fish with a moderately compressed structure, Florida Pompano usually slip through vertical crevices to find their food. Their diet usually consists of mollusks, crustaceans, smaller invertebrates, and fish. While feeding, Florida Pompanos usually travel in schools.

Florida Pompano can grow up to 12 inches. Their average weight is around 1-3 lbs. Though, there have been some cases of an 8-9 lbs Florida Pompano being caught.


Interesting Facts 

  • The Florida Pompano is one of the most prized fish that they actually have a beach named after it is known as Pompano Beach.
  • Florida Pompano is commonly mistaken for the Permit because of their similar appearance. 
  • Florida Pompanos are expensive in restaurants because of their delicious, buttery meat.
  • Their migration is often influenced by temperature but their local positions are affected by tides.  They will stay in the same place unless the temperature forces them to go deep into the waters.
  • Florida Pompanos have a short life span of 3-4 years. However, there have been some reports of an angler catching a 6-9-year-old Florida Pompano.


Florida Pompano Fishing Techniques 

Florida Pompano is a terrifying fighter when caught. As a member of the Jack family, it’s quite tenacious as a fish and will definitely give even experienced anglers a run for their money and quite the thrill.

When fishing for Florida Pompano, use small hooks as they have small mouths; using a big hook will definitely drive them away. Live bait such as mollusks or worms works best for this fish. If using jigs, its best to use is brightly colored ones, especially in clear waters. Similar to fishing for a Great Pompano, using yellow- or orange-colored jigs will catch their attention. 

The best time during the year is during the summer and fall since they usually move deeper into the water during the winter.


Habitat and Distribution

Florida Pompanos like staying near the Gulf beaches where there’s an abundance of shrimp and mollusks. Sometimes you will find an adult Florida Pompano has moved into bay areas.